May 29 (Bloomberg) -- John Kerry has never run for sheriff. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he is starting to act like one, and the world is his jurisdiction.
The Massachusetts Democrat is wielding his gavel with an investigative zeal, and plans to take on Iran’s nuclear program, gun-running on the Mexican border, terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking, all through the prism of money laundering. He has hired a former investigative reporter, an ex-CIA agent and a one-time managing director of Bear Stearns Cos. LLC to help him.
“There are lots of big pieces out there that depend on money moving,” he said in an interview in his office in the Senate, where he is serving his 24th year.
Kerry, who was a prosecutor and attorney in Massachusetts before starting his political career in 1982, said the lack of congressional oversight during the Bush administration left behind a target-rich environment for his panel. The Treasury Department “has its hands full” and is “inadequately resourced” to pursue these inquiries, he said.
“For the last eight years we’ve had an administration that has done its utmost to protect, hide, obfuscate, neglect, void, simply not even care about these issues,” said Kerry, 65.